Environmental Agriculture

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Environmental Groups File Opening Briefs Challenging Enlist Duo Herbicide

On October 23, 2015, in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, Petitioner the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Petitioners the Center for Food Safety, National Family Farm Coalition, Pesticide Action...more

Public Meeting Announced To Discuss Modernizing the Regulatory System For Biotechnology Products Memorandum

On October 16, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), along with the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)...more

FDA to Host First Public Meeting on Biotech Regulation Overhaul

On October 15, 2015, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) posted notice of a public meeting to be held on Friday October 30th, in order to clarify the current roles and responsibilities described in the Coordinated...more

EPA Announces Revisions to Its Worker Protection Standard

On September 28, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced revisions to its worker protection standard. EPA states that these revisions are intended to “enhance the protections provided to agricultural...more

Key Takeaways From the Associated Industries of Florida Water Forum

Last week I was honored to serve as lead moderator at the 2015 Associated Industries of Florida (AIF) Water Forum held in Orlando, Florida. As moderator, I led dynamic conversations on a wide range of water-related issues,...more

EPA Issues New Rule to Protect Farmworkers from Pesticide Risks

Against a backdrop of higher-profile rules, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) unveiled a new Worker Protection Standard (WPS) on September 28 that imposes additional requirements on farm owners to protect farmworkers...more

NC Legislative Update for September 2015 #3

This Week - After passing the State’s biennial budget into law last week, the legislature turned its focus towards adjournment. The Senate unveiled an adjournment resolution which would adjourn the session on Tuesday,...more

Ninth Circuit Vacates EPA’s Unconditional Registration for the Neonicotinoid Pesticide Sulfoxaflor Based on Hazard to Bees

In an opinion issued on September 10, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit vacated the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) unconditional registration for the pesticide sulfoxaflor and remanded the...more

Federal Judge Blocks WOTUS Rule, Michigan Files Separate Suit

The Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ “Waters of the United States” Rule (WOTUS) that was supposed to go into effect on August 28, 2015, was blocked when North Dakota U.S. District Judge Ralph...more

Farm Service Agency Announces Start Of BCAP Enrollment

On August 19, 2015, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced the start of enrollment for financial assistance through the Biomass Crop Assistance Program (BCAP) to assist in growing new...more

California is Flooding with Water…Issues, Lawsuits, Rules and Legislation

We Californians are well aware of the impact of the four-year drought. We have read about town wells drying up like in East Porterville; we have seen the incredibly scary low water marks in lakes and reservoirs; we have heard...more

California Doubles Down on Proposition 65 Regulations; OEHHA Issues Pre-Regulatory Proposals That Harm Existing Defenses

Late last week, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (“OEHHA”) released several new pre-regulatory draft proposals regarding Proposition 65 (“Prop 65”). With one possible exception, the pre-regulatory...more

Ninth Circuit Denies Requests to Stay Use of Enlist Duo Herbicide During Judicial Review

On August 11, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit denied a motion for a stay pending review filed on December 18, 2014, by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), as well as a subsequent stay motion...more

A Legal Morass: Overlapping Takings Law With the Endangered Species Act

Last week, Jeremy Jacobs posted an interesting article about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision in Horne v. Dep’t of Agriculture, No. 14-275 (U.S. Jun. 22, 2015), and its potential application to Endangered Species Act...more

California Drought Prompts Bout Among Regulators and Farmers

As the drought drags on and lawns grow brown across California, a battle is raging over the scope of the State Water Resources Control Board’s authority to restrict the diversion of water from rivers, lakes and...more

Feinstein Introduces the California Emergency Drought Relief Act

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) introduced a bill last week to help address ongoing and future drought in California. The bill, known as the California Emergency Drought Relief Act (Act), is expected to be folded into broader...more

Waters of the United States Are Not What You’d Expect

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Army Corps of Engineers’ new rule defining “waters of the United States” covered by the Clean Water Act (“CWA”) provides a good example of what can happen when a simple term gets...more

2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation

The Pierce Atwood Environmental and Land Use Practice Group is pleased to provide the 2015 Summary of Key Maine Environmental Legislation enacted or carried over in the First Regular Session of Maine's 127th Legislature...more

California Environmental Law & Policy Update - July 2015 #4

Environmental and Policy Focus - California State Water Board seeks fines from local water district for alleged drought-related violations: Sacramento Bee - Jul 20 - State drought regulators went on the offensive against...more

Modernizing and Coordinating the Regulatory System of Biotechnology Products

On July 2, 2015, the U.S. Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) of the Office of the President issued a memorandum to initiate a process to coordinate, update and modernize the federal regulatory system governing...more

Environmental Notes - July 2015

Clean Water Rule Opens Litigation Floodgates - With much fanfare, EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) recently issued a final rule clarifying which bodies of water are “waters of the United States” protected...more

Dead in the Water: The Western Water and American Food Security Act

The Western Water and American Food Security Act was — and is — pre-ordained to fail. It exacerbates the split within California over drought response, takes on the always controversial Endangered Species Act and, thereby,...more

Joint Agency Symposium Discusses Role of Electricity Sector in California’s 2030 GHG Reduction Goals

Last week, several state agencies and the California Independent System Operator held a symposium on ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from electricity generation while maintaining an affordable and reliable...more

EPA Gets Closer To Issuing Final Rule On Revisions To Minimum Risk Exemption For Pesticides

On June 24, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a notification that the EPA Administrator has forwarded to the Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Secretary of the...more

EPA’s Chesapeake Bay TMDL Survives Legal Challenge: Stricter Water Quality Regulation of Farms, Municipalities, Industry, and...

On July 6, 2015, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit unanimously rejected a challenge brought by agricultural and builder groups to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Chesapeake Bay...more

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